Labor Unions To Come Out In Force In Philly To Support Immigrant Children

By Sahid Fawaz

Labor leaders and members are gearing up for a big protest today in support of those affected by the Trump administration’s assault on immigrants and their children. reports:

“Philadelphia labor leaders say they’ll jam Penn’s Landing with 5,000 demonstrators on Wednesday afternoon, drawing busloads from across the East Coast to support immigrant families who have been detained or separated at United States borders.

If that count proves accurate, the rally would rank among the largest in the Philadelphia region since President Trump took office in January 2017.

‘We are here in solidarity with each other,’ said AFSCME secretary-treasurer Elissa McBride, ‘as Americans, as labor unions, as social-justice warriors.’

A half-dozen union leaders and immigration advocates gathered on Tuesday to publicize the demonstration, billed as ‘Labor United to Free the Children.’ Organizers said the rally would be apolitical, based solely on empathy for children.
A silent march is to follow the demonstration, proceeding from Penn’s Landing to the U.S. Customs House at 200 Chestnut Street, which houses several federal agencies.

‘What’s happening in this country right now is really disturbing,’ said Esteban Vera, business manager for Laborers Local 57.  ‘If it’s a fight the leadership wants, it’s a fight they’re going to get.’

Trump rescinded the administration’s policy of separating immigrant families in June, amid national outcry and news coverage of terrified children and tearful parents. Instead, the administration intends to expand the number of beds and facilities in which to jail families, as is done now at the Berks County detention center in Pennsylvania.

The president’s crackdown on immigration, legal and illegal, has driven rights groups and their supporters into the streets. Philadelphia has been a center of protest and resistance as a sanctuary city, places that generally strive to treat undocumented immigrants like everyone else.”

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